Early blasting. Explosives were used in small quantities as this picture of a shot-hole in Brynlow (end of main adit) shows. Explosives are believed to have been introduced into Great Britain by German or Dutch miners at Ecton in Staffordshire in the mid-1660s. The passage shown above was probably mined 100 years later by Charles Roe's miners.
(Left) 19th century blasting. Drills were better and gunpowder was probably cheaper when this shothole was drilled in Wood Mine. The whole length of the hole is about 3 ft, compared to 1 ft for the Brynlow hole. Black soot surrounds the hole and the white is fungus growing on the soot. The yellow stemming (clay to prevent the blast escaping) can be seen in the middle of the white patch.